What Month Is It Anyway?

By David Oatis, Director
May 11, 2010

The weather always seems to jump around some in the spring, and it certainly is doing that this year! Long johns have been traded for sun block and vice versa a couple of times already this year, and that always makes for an interesting start to the season. Golfers have been out in droves on many courses, and their early start has made it challenging to get the last of the spring cleanup accomplished. Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures we have experienced at times, there have been plenty of cold snaps, and some areas still are experiencing some frost. Playing conditions in the Northeast Region probably won’t round into peak form for a few more weeks.

When golfers experience a few warm days, they start to expect better playing conditions. A few warm days followed by cold weather, and possibly frost, gives golfers the perception that things should be growing, but the annual bluegrass and the bentgrasses won’t grow consistently under these conditions. Here are a few things you can expect for the next couple of weeks:

  • Bentgrass is very prone to mechanical injury during the spring season, and even normal mowing and rolling operations may cause visible injury to bentgrass while temperatures remain cool.
  • With sporadic cool periods and even a few frosts, certain bentgrass cultivars become severely discolored. It may look like a disease, but more often than not, the discoloration is just a result of the cool temperatures, possibly combined with some mechanical injury.
  • Poa/bent putting greens will remain somewhat bumpy until the growth of the two species evens out, and this won’t happen until we experience consistently warm temperatures. For warmer, more southerly areas, this may be occurring right now. For cooler areas, this may not occur for another month.
  • Regardless of how effective your seed head suppression program worked, a few seed heads, (maybe quite a few) often pop up, and these will contribute to the bumpy conditions.
  • We haven’t seen any ABW damage yet, but it is just around the corner. Plan on the first weevil damage to begin appearing in the next two weeks or so.
  • Cool season brown patch and brown ring patch both may be active now, but as conditions continue to warm (especially if it is dry) cool season brown patch will fade away. The two are difficult to distinguish between, and since the conditions that favor each are similar and overlap, be sure to get a laboratory diagnosis.

Turf Advisory Service Visits

We are rapidly approaching the May 15 prepayment deadline for Turf Advisory Visits, so be sure to get your payments in quickly and take advantage of the $500 discount for early payment. Remember, it doesn’t matter when you take the visit, just pay for one visit by May 15 and save $500 per visit for the entire year. Contact Dave Oatis, Director doatis@usga.org; Adam Moeller, Agronomist amoeller@usga.org; or Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist jskorulski@usga.org for a Turf Advisory Service visit this season. 

Partner Links
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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

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Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

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